4 achievable steps to owning your employer brand

4 steps to Employer Branding

Author: Kim Draper

Whether you’re aware of it or not, every company has an employer brand. This is your reputation as an employer and what people believe it’s like to work for you.  

Your staff seem pretty content and retention rates are good, so why aren’t you getting a good amount of job applications for your latest roles? It’s simple really, you need to take ownership of your employer brand.  

Owning your employer brand involves creating a strategy and keeping on top of it. It’s a big process and there’s a lot to consider, so we’ve picked 4 achievable ‘quick wins’. However, this doesn’t mean to say you should only focus on this and skip everything else, it’s simply to get you in the mindset of taking ownership and managing your employer brand.  

1. Build a library of staff stories   

Storytelling is an important business activity. It helps to reiterate your beliefs, values and culture, while creating a more human connection with your audience.  

Consider the types of stories you want to share, how they link to your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and which members of your team would be good advocates.  

If every story comes from the Directors or the Owner, then alarm bells will ring. Why aren’t the employees sharing their own thoughts? Do they not have positive things to say? Why aren’t the employees engaged with company activity? 

As an example, if one of your key benefits and pillars of your EVP is progression, ask an employee to share their journey with the company. Highlight the different skills they’ve learned, the roles they’ve undertaken and how they’ve been supported to do this.  

We know that this will be outside of some staff members’ comfort zones, or they may need some support or guidance.

If you’re working with us on your employer branding, then we would be happy to take the reins and communicate with staff on your behalf. We can offer support on the types of stories to tell and what to include.  

2. Review your social media content   

Another way of owning your employer brand is to be proactive on social media.

Log in to your socials and have a look through your posts, or if you want an honest opinion, ask someone else (who doesn’t work for you).  

What does your content say about you as an employer? Does it say anything?  

Companies are so focused on getting their consumer brand right that they forget about the importance of their employer brand. They should be working together – not against each other!  

If you’re actively recruiting, a large number of your page visitors will be wanting to learn more about what it’s like to work for you. You need to make sure your company page reflects this. 

We get it, social media channels appeal to different audiences, but by neglecting employer brand content you’re not reaching a key proportion of your followers.

Consider how you can use event photos across all channels by tailoring the content. 

3. Shout about your team’s achievements   

How quick are you to praise your team? If it’s something you are proactive in doing, then why not take it one step further and acknowledge their achievements publicly.  

Completing a qualification, being promoted, receiving positive feedback, or doing a fantastic job – are scenarios which provide you with an opportunity to share positive news with the wider world, including job seekers.  

If you want to take it one step further, you could make it a regular thing. Set up a reminder in your diary to choose someone to acknowledge every fortnight or month. If you think you could make more of this, consider bringing in an employee recognition scheme such as ‘employee of the week/month’ or awards specific to things you want to highlight, such as going the extra mile.  

Work anniversaries are another way to recognise staff while highlighting long service to potential job seekers. If you don’t already, consider implementing a recognition scheme to acknowledge service. The milestones and gifts will vary depending on the budget you have available, the number of employees you have and the years you’ve been running.

If budgets are a sticking point, consider bulk buying ‘thank you cards’ and purchasing chocolates, flowers, or a bottle of fizz. A small gesture like this goes a long way!  

Recognition brings several benefits, including an increase in team productivity, boosts morale, positively impacts your company culture and enhances your employer brand.  

4. Keep an eye on your Glassdoor reviews   

Glassdoor should form a key part of your employer branding strategy.

Let’s face it, no one likes seeing negative reviews posted about them. Regardless of how you feel about the person leaving the review and what they’ve said, see this as an opportunity to take control of the situation by responding to their comments.  

We’ve all seen screenshots of review responses posted to social media. You don’t want to be going viral for all the wrong reasons!  

Responding to reviews might seem daunting and out of your comfort zone, but in terms of employer branding, it’s a great way to show that you’re engaged, listening, and taking action.  

Here are a few tips from us on how to reply:   

Say thank you   

It may seem a little odd to thank someone for leaving negative comments but trust us on this. Use openers like ‘thank you for taking the time to leave a review,’ ‘thank you for your comments’ or ‘thank you for sharing your experience with us’.  

Check for errors   

We shouldn’t need to tell you this; remember to check for errors before posting your response. We are all human and we make mistakes, but making a spelling error could affect your creditability, especially if you’re dealing with negative reviews.  

If spelling and grammar isn’t your strong point, consider typing your response out in a document and using a spellchecker. You could also ask someone else to proofread or step away for a few minutes to refresh your eyes.  

Don’t use stock responses   

You’re not a robot, so try not to sound like one! Using stock responses may seem like an effective way of responding, but this impersonal approach highlights that you’re not listening to what has been said.  

Typically, Glassdoor users read five company reviews before forming their opinion on whether to apply for a position. Imagine a potential job seeker seeing you saying the same thing FIVE TIMES in response to different comments. Not great right?!   

On the topic of not sounding like a robot, remember to sign your name at the end to help establish a personal connection.  

Take it offline 

Responding to Glassdoor reviews is only going to be beneficial if you take accountability for what has been said. 

If you need to investigate or are concerned about a review, you should take things offline. In your response, offer an email address or phone number where the individual can contact you (or the relevant person in your team). This helps to diffuse the situation and indicates you care and want to make things right.  

Don’t ignore the positives   

We’ve focused heavily on negative reviews because they are the trickiest, but don’t forget your cheerleaders, the ones who have gone out of their way to say something nice.  

If someone is gushing about what it’s like to work for you make sure you respond appropriately. Likewise, if you’ve received a mixed review, don’t just acknowledge the negative aspects, highlight the positive points too.  

Hopefully these employer branding quick wins will inspire you to make owning your employer branding a priority. Keep an eye on our blog posts and social media channels for more insights on employer branding.

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